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Couple Issues - 4/5/2009 1:27:19 PM   
Anthropoid


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Having played quite a bit now, I think I have a couple issues that _really_ should be altered in a patch. If it is already noted cool.

1) Britain is _WAAYY_ too timid with her fleet, and way too adventurous with her armies on the continent.

In my game it is now Jan 1797 as France, started 1792. I have progressively been building up my naval assets; not building ships, mostly just fighting weaker nations and gaining experience. I had one fleet that had four or five Admiral promoted 1st raters, as well as a bunch of Deadeye+Extra Guns promoted 3rd raters.

I've been in a couple wars with Britain, and won smashing defensive victories in northeast France, but no naval battles. I had however, pretty much trashed the navies of Spain, Portugal, and Russia.

Starting in about 1794 or 95, another war with pretty much everyone ensued, including Britain. I kept all my boats in the Med, blockading Gibraltar and GB kept all her boats in south England. She never sortied to attack my powerful fleet blockading Gibraltar, nor did she blockade any of my French ports.

Having won a war against Austria early on, then against Spain, then got lapses of peace from Sweden, and Russia, by 1796 it was just between me Prussia and GB. I had suffered no defeats on the battlefield as of mid 1796, but had beaten both the Prussian and GB armies more than once. I had all my diplomats in GB Pressuring Peace for peace, but despite this and the pretty severe losses I'd imposed on GB, she did not surrender, nor did she make any effective use of her fleets (which were numerous).

Finally, in about Aug or Sept 1796 I had moved my three main fleets and small fleet I'd captured up to Brittany. I set my powerful fleet (Bouvets) to attack + intercept and all the others (Cornics, Marseiiles Flt, 3rd Fleet, Latouce) to avoid combat and not intercept. I moved out Bouvets into Celtic Sea, then all the others except 3rd, I loaded a large amy with two corps (~140K) into French 3rd Fleet and set it to amphibiously assault Devon.

The depot I had preemptively set in Celtic was eaten up by a GB merchant or privateer, but otherwise everything worked fine. I had conquered Devon by no later than Oct 1796, and actually sent the lionshare of that large army back to France. Still not a peep from the multitude of GB fleets lurking in Hampshire/Anglia. A few months later, Dec 1796, I sent my large army back to England. Next turn (or it might have been Dec, not sure, but I do have the .sves) I sent the army to invade Hampshire, while I sent two fleets to blockade London and the port in Hampshire.

Result: Hampshire conquered, and every single fleet in the GB navy captured without firing a shot. This I think is a second but related point that should perhaps be looked at again and changed.

In order for GBs navy to protect the island they have to be out of port, but by the time I had one beefed up fleet and several wins against other nations navies, I never saw a SINGLE action by GB navy other than hiding in port. Consequently, instead of losing a few ships or perhaps even a fleet or two to me in naval combat, but perhaps blunting my navy, the ENTIRE British navy is now under French control.

2) Capturing fleets is _WAAYY_ too easy. I can only guess how the algorithms for this are calculated, but I would suggest they be revisited. I would think that, AT BEST, one should only be able to capture half to perhaps 2/3rd of an enemy fleet, and those should be pretty badly banged up. It has been a routine practice throughout history for Captains to scuttle their ships rather than let them fall into enemy hands. Not to mention, there should be some chance that a fleet that is boxed in will raise anchor and at least TRY to fight back against the blockading force and not simply wait passively in port while land forces swarm on board. Capturing fleets should be possible, but not so easy. Some ports (London for example being up a river) would be easier to blockade than others, but presumably the Guns built in a city would deter blockading ships from staying too close the mouth of a bottleneck that could be effective for boxing in a superior force?

3) It is my custom to keep 1 to 4 Frigates in each fleet. Several times in the last few turns I've had fleets of 25 or 30 ships forced to retreat by a SINGLE merchant! That just has to be changed

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3
Post #: 1
RE: Couple Issues - 4/7/2009 12:45:45 AM   
Anthropoid


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Bump for the Devs to see this.

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 2
RE: Couple Issues - 4/7/2009 6:31:50 AM   
ptan54

 

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Agree with you that British AI needs to be less aggressive on land and more aggressive at sea. The Brits invaded neutral Denmark to destroy/seize their fleet to prevent its use by the French. And in WW2 the Brits destroyed the French fleet after the fall of France to prevent the Nazis using them.

Also agree re: scuttling ships or fighting one's way out of the blockade. Shouldn't be so easy to capture fleets.

I also think it would be a good idea for the developers to introduce naval leaders!

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 3
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 12:54:54 AM   
Anthropoid


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From: Secret Underground Lair
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bump

_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to ptan54)
Post #: 4
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 3:19:10 AM   
barbarossa2

 

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Below is an interesting description of the Siege of Toulon in the summer of 1793 from, "The War for All the Oceans" by Roy Adkins. In it, Adkins is telling the tale of a Captain Sir William Sidney Smith of the British Navy. Smith is an interesting character and worth a read, but that is not what this post is about... From page 4...

"Toulon was the main French naval base in the Mediterranean, but that summer, the largely Royalist population threw out the revolutionary administration.   As an army approached to take back control, the people of Toulon opened the port to the British and the Spanish, who were allies of Britain at the time.  The resulting siege was a stalemate for some weeks while the British tried desperately to bring in reinforcements to counter the growing army of Revolutionary troops surrounding the town.  At this point, a 24 year old major of the French artillery, Napoleon Bonaparte, came to prominence by the skilful use of his guns.  He persuaded his commanding officer to capture a key fort on high ground from where his artillery could threaten British ships in the harbour, giving them the stark choice of retreat or destruction. The British fleet pulled out, leaving many of the local population to be massacred by the vengeful Revolutionaries.  Smith volunteered to organise the burning of those (captured French) ships that could not be sailed out of the harbour--fifty-eight warships, including thirty-two large battleships. There was little time to lose.  The Revolutionary army was pressing at the gates of the town, and many of the inhabitants had already thrown away their Royalist colors and were wearing the red, white, and blue cockade of the Revolutionaries.  In the end, the British sailed nineteen French ships out of the harbour, and Smith managed to destroy ten ships of the line and four others, but this left eighteen ships of the line and seven others to be recaptured by the French.  Even so, the loss of thirty three ships was a greater blow to the French Navy than Nelson later inflicted at the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar, but in the subsequent search for scapegoats after the abandonment of Toulon, Smith was criticised for not destroying more ships, although in reality his achievement was remarkable."

Funny. Even when British had the enemy's ships in hand and possession of the port for weeks (1 CoG:EE turn?), it wasn't easy as pie to just man them and sail them away.  The British could take only 19 ships out of the harbour in the time given.  And while in posession of a captured fleet, when the port was retaken by the French Revolutionary army, the British weren't capable of destroying all of the ships which remained--even though they had warning.  This taking of harbours and capturing of ships doesn't sound nearly as easy as I thought it was.

I was amazed when I read about this. Most short descriptions about the siege of Toulon don't even mention this naval action.

Is anyone else aware of other fleet capture episodes of sizeable scale?

< Message edited by barbarossa2 -- 4/8/2009 3:44:50 PM >

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 5
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 3:41:31 AM   
Anthropoid


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quote:

ORIGINAL: barbarossa2

An interesting description of the Siege of Toulon in the summer of 1793 from, "The War for All the Oceans" by Roy Adkins...

It is the only time I have read about what I would have called an unrealistic and unfair fleet capture/destruction if I would have experienced it during a game. But this WAS real and it occurred during the Napoleonic era...

"Toulon was the main French naval base in the Mediterranean, but that summer, the largely Royalist population threw out the revolutionary administration.   As an army approached to take back control, the people of Toulon opened the port to the British and the Spanish, who were allies of Britain at the time.  The resulting siege was a stalemate for some weeks while the British tried desperately to bring in reinforcements to counter the growing army of Revolutionary troops surrounding the town.  At this point, a 24 year old major of the French artillery, Napoleon Bonaparte, came to prominence by the skilful use of his guns.  He persuaded his commanding officer to capture a key fort on high ground from where his artillery could threaten British ships in the harbour, giving them the stark choice of retreat or destruction. The British fleet pulled out, leaving many of the local population to be massacred by the vengeful Revolutionaries.  Smith volunteered to organise the burning of those (captured French) ships that could not be sailed out of the harbour--fifty-eight warships, including thirty-two large battleships. There was little time to lose.  The Revolutionary army was pressing at the gates of the town, and many of the inhabitants had already thrown away their Royalist colors and were wearing the red, white, and blue cockade of the Revolutionaries.  In the end, the British sailed nineteen French ships out of the harbour, and smith managed to destroy ten ships of the line and four others, but this left eighteen ships of the line and seven others to be recaptured by the French.  Even so, the loss of thirty three ships was a greater blow to the French Navy than Nelson later inflicted at the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar, but in the subsequent search for scapegoats after the abandonment of Toulon, Smith was criticised for not destroying more ships, although in reality his achievement was remarkable."

Funny. Even when you have the enemy's ships in hand and possession of the port for weeks, it wasn't easy as pie to just sail them away.  The British could take only 19 ships out of the harbour in the time given.  And while in posession of a fleet, when the port was captured by the French Revolutionary army, the British weren't capable of destroying all of the ships which remained--even though they had warning.  This taking of harbours and capturing of ships doesn't sound nearly as easy as I thought it was.

Is anyone else aware of other fleet capture episodes of sizeable scale?


If this had been what happened in game, I woulda thoght it was pretty fair. Lets focus here on the outcome. He says there were 58 "that could not be sailed out of the harbour" including 32 large battleships:

quote:

the British sailed nineteen French ships out of the harbour, and smith managed to destroy ten ships of the line and four others, but this left eighteen ships of the line and seven others to be recaptured by the French.


So what I make of this is, out of the initial 58 that were in danger of being recaptured, 19 got away, 14 were scuttled (10 ships of the line plus four others) and 26 were recaptured (18 ships of the line and seven others). 19 + 14 + 18 = 51. What happened to the other 7 ships that were in the initial number?

Moreover, 14 scuttled plus 18 destroyed = 32 "lost" not "loss of thirty three ships was a greater blow to the French Navy than Nelson later inflicted." The numbers do not seem to add up exactly here . . . but maybe there are other sections you've skipped over for the sake of brevity that make it clear about these discrepancies . . . In any event, a very nice example of how such things actually played out in real history. Thanks for posting that Barb!

What happened in my game was: two fleets of about 40 French ships (whatever is the max size) blockaded two English ports while a large army (~135k) marched into the province from the neighboring province. There was only a small garrison of English troops there. As a result of this every single Fleet in the area (must have been 10 of them) ranging in size from 5 ships to 25 or 30 ships (and many GOOD ships!) were -ALL- captured.

Now maybe the amount of British ships I now have posession of is less than were there before the capture; maybe some did get scuttled, but if so, I didn't see any report about it.

< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 4/8/2009 4:16:03 AM >


_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to barbarossa2)
Post #: 6
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 3:45:14 AM   
barbarossa2

 

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Antropoid, I agree that you raise some very valid points. :)  And feel that there is a balance issue that needs to be addressed.  I just posted the above story as something which was relevant to the fleet capture you mentioned. :)

What I wanted to show was that the numbers you estimate are very close to correct!

< Message edited by barbarossa2 -- 4/8/2009 3:46:52 AM >

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 7
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 3:45:37 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

1) Britain is _WAAYY_ too timid with her fleet, and way too adventurous with her armies on the continent.


Hmm. This is exactly the opposite of what I observe. The actions of the AI might be really difficult to predict and random from game to game. They might even change with era/scenario.

In one of the games Im currently playing (as Prussia, 1805 economic challenge scenario, 2000 Glory victory condition), the Brits have complete naval supremacy having crushed the French and Spanish during 1805-1806.

It is now 1809.

The British Fleets have the remnants of the British and Spanish Fleets bottled up and blockaded in numerous locations around Europe. The British Army is built up to where it has a 2 Armies plus 2 Corps containers and 12 infantry, 8 cav and 4 artillery (1 horse artillery), all of very high morale quality, with 2 quality high star Generals available as leadership, and just sits like a bump on a log in Anglia doing nothing while the French are 300 points away from winning the game by repeatedly thrashing Austria.

They could land in Normandy and Brittany conquering them and secure 8 Glory a turn by doing that and March on Paris from there during any of the wars France has fought with Austria, but they dont.

Alternatively, They could pursue a "peninsular campaign" strategy. Land in Iberia and knock Spain out of the war, then proceed into Southern France. They dont.

They just sit with a very large well trained army in Anglia and dont take any advantage of their complete control of the sea, and the fact that the Grand Armee is heavily engaged far away by their allies.

PS They dont even respond to a "rally request" on the military screen from me their Ally as I try to defeat the Grand Armee in central Europe with the help of the Russians and Austrians. I dont know if thats because the AI doesnt want to pull ships off blockading duty to transport those troops or what but its very odd.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

3) It is my custom to keep 1 to 4 Frigates in each fleet. Several times in the last few turns I've had fleets of 25 or 30 ships forced to retreat by a SINGLE merchant! That just has to be changed


Agreed on this point.

If you cant put 4 or more Frigates with any given fleet, its better to not put any at all and just concentrate the Frigates in larger groups in a couple fleets so that you have some fleets that wont engage at the privateers and merchants and those that will engage at that level will have a good chance of winning because of having a large group of frigates available..

Im wondering if anyone has ever considered pursuing a purely Super Frigate/Privateer based naval strategy. My GB naval strategy is to pursue aggressive frigate construction as that is their only weakness at Sea.

PS I dont understand why merchant ships are allowed to engage Frigates without being engaged by the line of battle. That doesnt make any sense. If the theory in this case is that the merchants are too fast to be caught up by the line of battle again they still cant force the fleet of warships to vacate the zone and should share the zone, perhaps receiving a huge reduction in the amount of profit since they are forced to be basically blockade runners and spend much of their time taking evasive action.

Edited to put the exact amounts of British forces in the first section of the post and removing estimations. Also removed incorrect statements about Frigate combat after testing it. I had thought Frigates would engage only other frigates like Privateers and merchants do, but I was wrong about that.

< Message edited by Mus -- 4/8/2009 4:53:35 AM >

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 8
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 4:09:20 AM   
Anthropoid


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Thanks for posting the story Barbarossa, it is really an excellent historical example, and very salient to my initial post/complaint. What I take from it overall: (a) capturing fleets should not be 'automatic' (and indeed, maybe it isn't as it is? maybe I just got _really_ lucky?); (b) there should be some chance that enemy ships in danger of being captured are either (i) scuttled (even in the event of a blockade), or even (ii) escape (maybe even in the event of a blockade).

I guess my question to Eric and the Dev team is: is there any chance of b(i) or b(ii). If there is, then my "complaint" is null, and I just got very lucky, although perhaps the probabilities might deserve to be revisited? With such a rich and well-fleshed out land combat system, politics, etc., I could imagine some of the finer points on naval matters (which are frankly VERY complicated) having been given a bit less consideration? Moreover, special circumstances like blockading and invading England are pretty rare, and may not have occurred in many beta-test games?

Your point that, AI behavior between games may vary radically is also very valid Mus. But the way Britain has been acting in my game is as follows: ballsy if not reckless with her land forces on the continent, consequently leaving only a token force in England, while simultaneously being shy and reclusive with its sea power. This to me is a "possibility" in some kind of alternate history example, but it should not be a very likely possibility. I guess my question to the Devs is: did I also just get really "lucky" here and get an AI whose decision 'roll' was to act in such an "Un-British" way as to meekly keep her fleets bottled up where I could capture them all? Maybe the fact that I had for about two years of game time been engaged in a more or less continuous string of naval victories against other nations is what compelled the British AI to "seek safety" in port? Even if the probability of this happening is low, it seems like it should maybe be even lower?

ADDIT: and Mus, your story of how Britain is acting in your game is an ironic mirror image to the way she is acting in mine!!

< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 4/8/2009 4:13:41 AM >


_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 9
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 4:16:06 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

ADDIT: and Mus, your story of how Britain is acting in your game is an ironic mirror image to the way she is acting in mine!!


So I guess the question is how random is AI behavior, and then if it is fairly random, perhaps its a little too random.

I think Frigate/Privateer/Merchant combat needs to be addressed as a seperate issue and would like to hear peoples thoughts on the things I mentioned in the second half of my post. I think the way its working right now is a little nonsensical.

< Message edited by Mus -- 4/8/2009 4:19:15 AM >

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RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 4:23:37 AM   
Anthropoid


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I agree; there seems little basis to debate about the way the Frigate/Privateer/Merchant combat is currently working. It is farcical that a battle line of 25 or 30 ships of 3rd raters and 1st raters would get chased off by one or two merchants simply because there is a Frigate in the larger fleet! I cannot see much way that this issue is a reflection of random factors, it just seems to be not working the way it was intended.

If what has happened with me capturing all of Britain's fleet is just a reflection of random chance, then there does not seem to be much to 'complain' about (other than perhaps addressing the _degree_ of randomicity).

But having heard about how often whole if not large portions of fleets are captured, I can't help but suspect that it is something a bit different. I suspect that, if a fleet is blockaded, there is (a) no chance that it will try to fight its way out of the blockade, that (b) there is no chance that it will try to escape/fight its way out if it is pressed between a blockade and an invading land force, and that (c) there is no chance that any of the ships that are in danger of being captured will scuttle rather than falling into enemy hands.

If I am wrong and the probabilities of (a), (b) and (c) are NOT zero, but some number that is either a constant or a variant function of in-game parameters, then I have nothing to complain about here. I just got lucky in my game.

If I'm correct that the probability of (a), (b) and (c) ARE zero, then I really think this is something that needs to be changed, else it makes the entire naval portion of the game farcical.

< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 4/8/2009 4:25:40 AM >


_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 11
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 4:55:13 AM   
Mus

 

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I had thought Frigates couldnt be engaged by SOLs but I tested it and they can, so its just privateers and merchants that can bully around fleets that have insufficient frigates attached.  I edited out a couple of my statements above for accuracy.

(in reply to Anthropoid)
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RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 6:18:04 AM   
ShaiHulud

 

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I like to play from 1792 as France. My experience, in every game, is that, once I've put the Brittany and Normandy fleets in the Channel, I just leave them and the Brits NEVER bother them. When Britain finally DoW's me, I blockade Kent and London. Perhaps because the Channel is lost, their army never has left Anglia. Anyway, the Brits are totally passive around England. They've occasionally floated a fleet into the Med, but, that's it.

Are they being clever, inviting me to invade so they can, then, isolate an army, without supply, in England? I don't know. I've refrained from invading because, in light of their passivity, it's entirely to gamy for me.

Besides all this, why, oh, why, do they fail completely to attack the islands in the Med which I control?

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 13
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 7:53:05 AM   
Mus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Anthropoid

But having heard about how often whole if not large portions of fleets are captured, I can't help but suspect that it is something a bit different. I suspect that, if a fleet is blockaded, there is (a) no chance that it will try to fight its way out of the blockade, that (b) there is no chance that it will try to escape/fight its way out if it is pressed between a blockade and an invading land force, and that (c) there is no chance that any of the ships that are in danger of being captured will scuttle rather than falling into enemy hands.

If I am wrong and the probabilities of (a), (b) and (c) are NOT zero, but some number that is either a constant or a variant function of in-game parameters, then I have nothing to complain about here. I just got lucky in my game.

If I'm correct that the probability of (a), (b) and (c) ARE zero, then I really think this is something that needs to be changed, else it makes the entire naval portion of the game farcical.


In the in game appendix (f1 while in a game) it says this:

quote:

Capture, Occupation, and Conquest – If a garrison surrenders or is reduced to zero Strength, the besieger captures the city and occupies the province (or conquers it, if its owner’s capital city is also captured). If there are any troop units remaining within the city, they become captured POW units. Ships and fleets escape to the nearest sea zone, unless they are blockaded by the same player, in which case they are captured.


I think there probably should be some kind of random percentage that sorties and fights a battle, a percentage that are captured and a percentage that are scuttled. No way the entire fleet should just fall into your lap without a fight.

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 14
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 11:06:59 AM   
Anthropoid


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Shai Hulud, I also play as 1792 France, and am seeing pretty much the exact same behavior as you. Maybe the issue here is that the Brit AI optimally coded for some of the later start scenarios, but he is not set up optimally for 1792 start?

Looking at some of these fleets that I captured, and considering the high morale bonus Britain enjoys (8 morale! vs my piddly 5.0 to 6.1 ships _AFTER_ I've won about 8 or 12 sea battles and ravaged the Spanish, Russian, and Portugese fleets!) this outcome is sorta like a pack of shotgun-wielding pit bulls surrendering because they are boxed-in by a couple of well-armed armed poodles!


_____________________________

The x-ray is her siren song. My ship cannot resist her long. Nearer to my deadly goal. Until the black hole. Gains control...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkIIlkyZ328&feature=autoplay&list=AL94UKMTqg-9CocLGbd6tpbuQRxyF4FGNr&playnext=3

(in reply to Mus)
Post #: 15
RE: Couple Issues - 4/8/2009 2:29:39 PM   
bjmorgan


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I just went blind.

(in reply to Anthropoid)
Post #: 16
RE: Couple Issues - 4/9/2009 11:25:38 AM   
ShaiHulud

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bjmorgan

I just went blind.


lol

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RE: Couple Issues - 4/9/2009 2:21:53 PM   
dude

 

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I asked in another thread about the Brit behavior because I never saw them move their army in any game I played.  I was informed that there is a variable that determines just how much amphibious operations the Brits will perform... but in all the games I have played (over seven as non-Brits) that they have never left England once.

So my view meshes with Mus in that the Brits have been very aggressive at sea and wiped out all other fleets but have left their large force at home.  Even with places like North Africa ripe for the taking... or some of the Med. Islands... etc... they just have sat there.  I am wishing there was an option somewhere to set how aggressive the Brits are in a game.


_____________________________

“Ifs defeated the Confederates…” U.S.Grant

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